One Year…

On The Menu:

One Year!

The Story Of The Sage of Herat

Yunus Emre Poetry…

Art: Gustave Moreau

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One Year!
Andrew, Catherine, & Eildon

This time last year, Catherine had delivered Eildon to the wide and wandering world…
We went to his first Birthday party tonight, and he was having quite a bit of fun. He had two lively playmates, Kelrith, and Ivy… sweet little ones!
He tore open some packages, had some cake, and generally charmed everyone.
It is truly amazing to see how much children grow from their first day to their first year. Here is to the little Guy! Happy B-day Eildon!
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The Story Of The Sage of Herat:

It has been told, that during the reign of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna, there lived a certain Haidar Ali Jan. His father, Iskandar Khan, wanted to gain the patronage of the Sultan, so he sent Haidar Ali away to study spirituality under the guidance of a well known sage.
After Haidar Ali had mastered various exercises and spiritual recitals, taught in the Sufi schools, his father took him before Sultan Mahmud.
“Mighty Sultan Mahmud,” said Iskandar Khan, “I have had my eldest and most intelligent son specially trained in the ways of the Sufi, so that he might be given a good position in your court, knowing that you are a patron of learning!”
Sultan Mahmud did not look up, but just said, “Bring him back in a year!”
Slightly disappointed, but maintaining high hopes, Iskandar Khan sent Haidar Ali to study the works of the great Sufis of the past and to visit the shrines of the ancient masters, so that he would be better prepared the following year.
The next year, when he took Haidar Ali back to Sultan Mahmud’s court, he said, “Your Majesty, my son has covered long and difficult journeys and is now more knowledgeable in Sufi history and classical spiritual exercises. Please have him tested, so it can be proven that he will be a wonderful asset to your court.”
“Let him,” said Sultan Mahmud without hesitation, “return after another year!”
Over the next twelve months, Haidar Ali crossed the Amu Darya river and visited Bukhara and Samarqand, Qasr-i-Arifin and Tashkent, Dushambe and the turbats of the Sufi saints of Turkestan.
When he returned to the court, Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna took one look at him and said, “He may care to come back after a year!”
Haidar Ali made the pilgrimage to Mecca that year. He then traveled to India and in Persia he consulted rare books and never missed an opportunity to seek out and pay his respects to the great dervishes of the time.
When he returned to Ghazna, Sultan Mahmud said to him, “Now select a sheikh (teacher) if he will have you, and come back in a year!”
Another year was over and Iskandar Khan prepared to take his son to the court, however, this time Haidar Ali showed no interest in going before the Sultan. He sat at the feet of his sheikh in Herat and nothing that his father could say would move him.
“I have wasted my time and money, and my son has failed the tests imposed by Sultan Mahmud,” Iskandar Khan cried to his family and friends. He decided to abandoned his great plans for Haidar Ali and left him alone with his sheikh.
The day preset day for Haidar Ali to present himself at the court came and went. Sultan Mahmud said to his courtiers, “Prepare for a journey to Herat, for there is someone in that city I have to meet.”
When Sultan Mahmud’s entourage entered Herat to the sound of drums and trumpets, Haidar Ali and his sheikh were sitting in a garden sanctuary near by. Sultan Mahmud and his courtier Ayaz, approached the sanctuary and took off their shoes in respect.
“Welcome, Sultan Mahmud,” said the Sufi sheikh, and he pointed to Haidar Ali and said, “Here is the man who was nothing while he was a visitor at your court, but now, he is worthy of a visit from a king. Take him as your Sufi counselor, for he is ready!”

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Yunus Emre Poetry…

Dervishood
Dervishood tells me, you cannot become a dervish

So what can I tell you? You cannot become a dervish.
A dervish needs a wounded heart and eyes full of tears.

He needs to be as easy going as a sheep.

You can’t be a dervish.
He must be without hands when someone hits him.

He must be tongueless when cursed.

A dervish needs to be without any desire.

You can’t be a dervish.
You make a lot of sounds with your tongue, meaningful things.

You get angry about this and that.

You can’t be a dervish.
If it were all right to be angry on this path,

Muhammad himself would have gotten angry.

Because of your anger, you can’t be a dervish.
Unless you find a real path, unless you find a guide,

unless Truth grants you your portion,

you can’t be a dervish.
Therefore, dervish Yunus, come,

dive into the ocean now and then.

Unless you dive in the ocean, you cannot be a dervish.

The drink sent down from Truth,

we drank it, glory be to God.

And we sailed over the Ocean of Power,

glory be to God.
Beyond those hills and oak woods,

beyond those vineyards and gardens,

we passed in health and joy, glory be to God.
We were dry, but we moistened,

We grew wings and became birds,

we married one another and flew,

glory be to God.
To whatever lands we came,

in whatever hearts, in all humanity,

we planted the meanings Taptuk taught us,

glory be to God.
Come here, let’s make peace,

let’s not be strangers to one another.

We have saddled the horse

and trained it, glory be to God.
We became a trickle that grew into a river.

We took flight and dove into the sea,

and then we overflowed, glory be to God.
We came down to the valley for winter,

we did some good and some bad things.

Now it’s spring and we’ll return, glory be to God.
We became servants at Taptuk’s door.

Poor Yunus, raw and tasteless,

finally got cooked, glory be to God.

A single word can brighten the face
A single word can brighten the face

of one who knows the value of words.

Ripened in silence, a single word

acquires a great energy for work.
War is cut short by a word,

and a word heals the wounds,

and there’s a word that changes

poison into butter and honey.
Let a word mature inside yourself.

Withhold the unripened thought.

Come and understand the kind of word

that reduces money and riches to dust.
Know when to speak a word

and when not to speak at all.

A single word turns the universe of hell

into eight paradises.
Follow the Way. Don’t be fooled

by what you already know. Be watchful.

Reflect before you speak.

A foolish mouth can brand your soul.
Yunus, say one last thing

about the power of words –

Only the word “I”

divides me from God.

The drink sent down from Truth
The drink sent down from Truth,

we drank it, glory be to God.

And we sailed over the Ocean of Power,

glory be to God.
Beyond those hills and oak woods,

beyond those vineyards and gardens,

we passed in health and joy, glory be to God.
We were dry, but we moistened.

We grew wings and became birds,

we married one another and flew,

glory be to God.
To whatever lands we came,

in whatever hearts, in all humanity,

we planted the meanings Taptuk taught us,

glory be to God.
Come here, let’s make peace,

let’s not be strangers to one another.

We have saddled the horse

and trained it, glory be to God.
We became a trickle that grew into a river.

We took flight and drove into the sea,

and then we overflowed, glory be to God.
We became servants at Taptuk’s door.

Poor Yunus, raw and tasteless,

finally got cooked, glory be to God.

The lover is outcast and idle
My soul,

the way of the masters

is thinner than the thinnest.

What blocked Solomon’s way was an ant.
Night and day the lover’s

tears never end,

tears of blood,

remembering the Beloved.
“The lover is outcast and idle,”

they used to tell me.

It’s true.

It happened to me.
I tried to make sense of the Four Books,

until love arrived,

and it all became a single syllable.
You who claim to be dervishes

and to never do what God forbids –

the only time you’re free of sin

is when you’re in His hands.
Two people wer talking.

One said, “I wish I could see this Yunus.”

“I’ve seen him,” the other says,

“He’s just another old lover.”

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